Sri Lankan Sapphires
Sri Lankan (Ceylon) Sapphires
Previously known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka can truly be described to be beautiful inside and out, providing gorgeous scenery as well as what we’re most excited about, the absolutely exquisite gemstones. The luminosity and allure provided by blue sapphires from Sri Lanka explains why in 2003, blue sapphire was declared the national gemstone.
What is it that makes these sapphires so special? Not only is Sri Lanka the oldest source of sapphires in the world - with the mines producing continuously for over 2000 years - but they are also known for the largest and finest of blue sapphires. Blue sapphires are currently one of the most sought-after gemstones, because of Sri Lanka’s abundance of precious gem-bearing rock, the sapphires that originate there are some of the best quality sapphires available in the market. Another note-worthy property of Ceylon Sapphires would be the variations in colour. All colour variations of blue sapphires can be found in Sri Lanka’s Sapphires, from ‘cornflower’ to ‘royal’ to 'velvet', all of which can be found in the highest quality stones.
Although the sapphires that tend to demand a higher price per carat are usually those categorised under velvety blue or violet-blue, don’t overlook other colours that blue sapphires offer. The value of a stone comes from the overall rarity which may also depend on carat, clarity and cut as much as the colour.
As mentioned previously, Sri Lanka hosts sapphire mines that produce all colour variants of sapphires, including coloured sapphires, as well as all the classic blues. Sri Lankan Sapphires are however most celebrated for their bright mid blue colour unlike stones from other sapphire sources.
Market and appreciation
Originally one of the most coveted coloured gemstones, demand and therefore the value of blue sapphires have continuously increased over the years, with prices doubling in the past decade. While the buyers from the US seem to opt for larger volumes of treated and calibrated stones, Europe continues to buy natural sapphires from not only Sri Lanka but also Kashmir and Myanmar. Although notably, demand for blue sapphires of medium to high quality has risen dramatically in South East Asia, where they have been referred to as tears of the Buddha.
Colour of the stones is the most important factor in Asia, with a focus on royal blue and cornflower blue sapphires from Sri Lanka. This rise in demand has persisted through the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which coincided with the closing of mines during this time, making these quality gemstones more elusive in the market.
The current view of the blue sapphire market reveals that large quantities of these valuable sapphires are being traded directly from Sri Lanka to Hong Kong and mainland China over the past decade. Therefore making the Sri Lanka sapphire trade more exclusive.
Despite the rarity of naturally beautiful blue sapphires, our long-standing networks in the trade have honoured our little shop on Henley Street with some very impressive stones directly from the mines of Sri Lanka. With our range of stones, you are guaranteed to find your perfect hue of blue.